2008 Yamaha Motorcycles - Dirt Rider Magazine Online

Quickies
* Alpinestars' current neck-brace design pivots open with a hinge in the back, closes in the front using a boot buckle and offers a lot of mechanical adjustment. The plate angle is still being worked out. No word on when the brace will be available.* Bevo Forti lost 62 pounds to raise money for the RiderDown Foundation and will keep losing to raise money for Doug Henry's recovery. www.riderdown.org* If you're standing in Bulcher, Texas, at the end of the December 7-8, 2007, weekend, you must be tough, and you might be alone. David Knight goes for three straight. www.redbulllastmanstanding.comTop Story
Spy Guy

The 2008 Yamahas have been announced, and the good news is that all the two-strokes are returning. The 85, 125 and 250 smokers will all be back, though, with very minor changes (mostly suspension) and some of the upgrades the '07 four-strokes received, such as wave disc rotors. The Yamaha four-strokes continue their evolution with a few suspension changes (spring rates, slight internal valving updates and external fork alterations and a slightly more progressive linkage ratio), a very compact and lighter muffler that has some new sound-damping technology (which we told you about in last month's "Spy Guy" story), matte-black engines cases and the return of a special-edition white color-this time with a red accent. The 450 has undergone some changes to the frame; the factory has taken the race-team trick of shaving down certain areas to improve the frame's handling and feel and put it into production. Other changes to the thumpers, including pistons and gears with tighter tolerances for less engine noise, new clutch oil-flow routing, lower and wider footpegs and a new tire brand (Bridgestone for the 250F, with new intermediate tires designed by Bridgestone with Yamaha's input), will keep the tuning-fork bikes competitive for another season.WEC Shockers-a BMW and Joel Smets
Five-time motocross champion Joel Smets, along with teammate Sascha Eckert, competed in the second round of the 2007 World Enduro Championship aboard the prototype BMW 450 enduro bikes. The bikes sported the full factory colors of the BMW Motorrad Motorsport team. The event was muddy and messy on day one, and dry and dusty on day two. Both riders scored points on day one, with Smets finishing 13th and Eckert finishing 15th. Day two didn't go as well. Smets was forced to drop out with an electrical problem, and Eckert ended the day in 17th.MX Owns X Games
With the addition of Moto X (a tweaked form of multiple-heat supercross races) to this year's X Games competition, Ricky Carmichael and ESPN ensure the most-watched sports at the 2007 event will feature dirt bikes, and lots of them.According to expn.com, ESPN's extreme sport website, Carmichael is officially partnered up with the broadcasting giant to help develop the race and will be competing himself.Adding the stadium racing to existing Freestyle, Step Up, Best Trick and Supermoto contests puts motorcycle sports in complete dominance.Check out www.expn.com for more information on the events.Hillclimb
Caselli Climbing

It seems there isn't any kind of dirt that can hold back Kurt Caselli. At a recent NAHA Pro Hillclimb at Glen Helen, the KTM star debuted as a pro hillclimber. As usual, he showed a great deal of style and aggression and even held the fast time in the two classes he entered. Ultimately, though, Robie Peterson edged Caselli in both classes. That seems fair since KC was on Peterson's bike in the 700cc class. Caselli vowed to get the Peterson boys, saying, "They keep calling me the rookie, but I want to get them out in the high desert mountains where I ride. We'll see who's a hillclimb rookie then!" Veteran climber Travis Whitlock kept both riders on their toes, and he eventually won the Open Unlimited class on a 200-horsepower Kawasaki dressed as a KTM. Soon there may be Open-class hillclimb wins for KTM, though. Peterson is sorting out a KTM 950 running 100 percent nitromethane. He quipped, "I told them that 50 percent would be plenty, but I'm just the rider. What do I know?"Bubba Needs a New Mechanic
James Stewart's mechanic, Jeremy Albrecht, is leaving Kawasaki for...greener pastures. Albrecht's signed on to manage the Gibbs Racing supercross/motocross team for 2008 and has already begun his duties there. What's the Gibbs Racing supercross and motocross team? Bikes and riders have not been selected as of press time, but Joe Gibbs of NASCAR fame and success is behind it and Albrecht is already on board it, so expect big things. Good luck to J-Bone in his new position.